Jean Sarkozy gives up La Défense job

President Sarkozy’s son, 23, will take a seat on the board of the body running the business district, but will not head it

PRESIDENT Sarkozy’s son Jean has renounced his claim to a job at the head of the body in charge of the powerful Paris business district La Défense.

He said on France 2 last night that he was giving up the job to avoid a “victory sullied by suspicions of favouritism.”

His appointment at just 23, and while he is still a student, as president of Epad, governing body of the area west of Paris that France wants to rival the City of London, caused widespread anger and disbelief.

It comes on top of the fact he is already a town councillor for his wealthy Paris suburb Neuilly-sur-Seine, where his father was once mayor, and head of the UMP Party group there. Neuilly is next to La Défense, both being in the department of Hauts-de-Seine.

“I’ve chosen the reasonable path,” he said. His decision was described as a wise one by the political right, while the opposition hailed a “victory” against an “act of nepotism” or referred to it as a “strategic withdrawal.”

Sarkozy is still to join the board of Epad, though he will no longer be president.

Photo: GSbear